The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus


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(4.7 stars; 122 reviews)

The Meditations is divided into 12 books that chronicle different periods of Marcus' life. Each book is not in chronological order and it was written for no one but himself. The style of writing that permeates the text is one that is simplified, straightforward, and perhaps reflecting Marcus' Stoic perspective on the text. Depending on the English translation, Marcus' style is not viewed as anything regal or belonging to royalty, but rather a man among other men which allows the reader to relate to his wisdom. A central theme to Meditations is the importance of analyzing one's judgment of self and others and the development of a cosmic perspective. As he said "You have the power to strip away many superfluous troubles located wholly in your judgment, and to possess a large room for yourself embracing in thought the whole cosmos, to consider everlasting time, to think of the rapid change in the parts of each thing, of how short it is from birth until dissolution, and how the void before birth and that after dissolution are equally infinite". He advocates finding one's place in the universe and sees that everything came from nature, and so everything shall return to it in due time. Another strong theme is of maintaining focus and to be without distraction all the while maintaining strong ethical principles such as "Being a good man". His Stoic ideas often involve avoiding indulgence in sensory affections, a skill which will free a man from the pains and pleasures of the material world. He claims that the only way a man can be harmed by others is to allow his reaction to overpower him. An order or logos permeates existence. Rationality and clear-mindedness allow one to live in harmony with the logos. This allows one to rise above faulty perceptions of "good" and "bad". - Summary by Wikipedia (4 hr 47 min)

Chapters

Book I 22:36 Read by realisticspeakers
Book II 13:25 Read by George Allen
Book III 16:21 Read by Gemma L Myers
Book IV 34:25 Read by realisticspeakers
Book V 30:59 Read by realisticspeakers
Book VI 28:17 Read by Kuba Orłowski
Book VII 25:05 Read by yonesantana
Book VIII 25:58 Read by AlextheYounger
Book IX 23:49 Read by DrPGould
Book X 23:40 Read by DrPGould
Book XI 20:07 Read by pyfeman43
Book XII 23:04 Read by Linda Johnson

Reviews

A good introduction to stoicism


(5 stars)

Thank you to all the readers for a very enlightening read! For anyone familiar with the Old Testament books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, the style and content of the Meditations very much mirror these, from a polytheistic perspective of course. I also found it very interesting to notice where Stoicism and Christianity overlap and diverge, the latter having certainly borrowed from the former in its dismissal of the physical realm as being lesser than the spiritual/reasonable.


(5 stars)

Excellent reading by all the narrators.

Important for liberation of the mind


(5 stars)

The books do a good job of showing the human experiences and how they can bog us down. One important element, we are powerless over the external nature of the universe and yet they can be overcome. It gives a renewed resilience of reality, that our perceived notions of the harsh parts of it are an illusion that we can free ourselves from.

stunning audiobook


(5 stars)

Each reader was topnotch and the subject matter itself was highly interesting. I paraphrased and penned down quite a few passages

life changing!


(5 stars)

This book literally changed me for the better. Stoic philosophy is now my way of life. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐